Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Jumping the Ditch.

Shane in Dinan

G’day Possums,

I suppose we dream that food tastes better when the the service is good and the ambience congenial. 

Two eating occasions recently proved that in spades.

Mrs Wombat and I had just escaped the attentions of a lovely but over insistent (in a Jehovah’s Witness/Mormon manner) evangelical “Catlic" gel in the Eglise St Julien in Domfront. 

St Julien, Domfront
St Julien, Domfront

The church itself is unusual as it is a 1920’s Ferro-Cement re-imagining of a Byzantine Basilica and quite stunning in its gilded spaciousness. Although it really deserved further exploration the “joyous witness” being experienced and a somewhat rumbling Wombat belly had us retreating to the more rational light of the street to look for an eatery.
Voila… 50 metres ahead was the le Bistrot Julien.

Bistrot, St Julien, Domfront
Bistrot, St Julien, Domfront

We entered and being 13.00 it was crowded but the woman behind the bar took a brief look around and said “5 minutes.” Whilst we waited we observed the hum of the place and the direct efficiency of this woman as she took and delivered orders, provided drinks and settled bills for an establishment of some 30-40 patrons.

We were seated 5 minutes later and our order from the plat de jour (E11, 3 courses) and the menu, of a main, dessert and a beer were delivered fairly soon after. All happened without drama, fuss or pretension through the agency of one person and the meals were excellent in preparation and taste and great value, totalling E29.00.

Haute Bretagne Floral and Botanical Park
Haute Bretagne Floral and Botanical Park
The next day we explored the Botanical Floral Park of Bretagne which is part of an C18th estate and the Chateau Foltiere a few km outside of Fougere… a lovely place, despite the Teddy-Bear Picnic’s kitsch-ing their way through the walks to hopefully entertain bored children.
After an 11/2 hour wander in steady drizzle our home prepared cold picnic seemed less than a good idea and we found that the Chateau’s old exterior kitchens had recently been taken over by the restaurant, “Galon ar Breizh" from Fougere and calling itself Galon ar Breizh “au comgagne” for this incarnation.

Galon ar Breizh
Galon ar Breizh

 As we were being ushered into a relatively small sparsely furnished room, the power failed and the mono directional light from the windows falling on the other patrons and the furnishings had me re-calling  the paintings of Le Nain and George la Tour as the room presented in solid chiaroscuro.
Power was quickly restored and a superb meal followed. The classical rustic simplicity of the surrounds were complimented by the elegance of the attention to detail in the quality of the Tartines, and a Cremette d’ Anjou which fully reflected its historically “heavenly" reputation. 
Again the price was more than reasonable.

Galon ar Breizh

In service, quality of product, cooking and presentation these two establishments seemed to me in their different settings to encapsulate French food at its simple best…..

“le Bistrot St Julien”, Cite Medievale. 2 Place St Julien, 61700 Domfront.
“Galon ar Breizh”, 10 Place Gambetta ,35300 Fougeres.

Dreams of another kind have been French road signage: you know the dream.. the one in which that object you’re trying to reach keeps getting further away? 
Apart from facing the direction opposite to which you are heading they seem to gradually evaporate as you approach your destination and the route numbers have altered across Communes or Departments….just for the sheer fun of it…. and running the circle of a roundabout three or four times IS a means of self preservation.

Hey-Ho… but that's all over, well in French at least; we are presently rolling around the Channel in a drizzle on our way to Plymouth on the good ship Melton-on-Sea.

Hoo-roo Petals,


Some extras....

Au Paradis des Enfants

An unintentional piece of irony at "Juno" Beach.

Madame Sevinge, Vitre

St Roch's Marc de Ouilly

Pip having her 4 seconds of transcendence

Spanish Family

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